17 March 2020
The AIS campus in Canberra is suspending public activity on the site in an effort to create the safest possible training environment for Australian athletes in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and to mitigate risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Effective after today, public-facing facilities on the AIS site will be closed to the broader community. This includes the AIS Aquatic & Fitness Centre, the AIS Visitor Centre including public tours, shop, café, the AIS Arena, the AIS Track & Field Centre and other facilities. Public events and community sporting camps will also cease.
The COVID-19 pandemic has naturally seen a drop in demand from the public using facilities, while national sporting organisations are reaching out with increased demand for use of the AIS as a venue for training camps.
AIS CEO Peter Conde said: “Under our remit to lead and enable Australian high performance sport, we are mobilising and have a duty of care to do everything within our control to provide safe and effective training environments for Australian athletes.
“We don’t underestimate the value of the AIS campus to the community, particularly Canberra’s community, and we have every intention of resuming business as usual when we see it appropriate.
“However, with preparations continuing for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics later this year, we are doing everything we can to support Australia’s athletes, coaches and sports to minimise any disruption to their training.
“Our Australian athletes have been training much of their lives for this opportunity to represent their country and we thank the community for their understanding in these uncertain times.
“We do acknowledge the risks associated with the rapidly-changing environment around COVID-19 and have committed to regularly updating sport with relevant information about the AIS campus."
The AIS medical team will continue to screen all users of AIS facilities and monitor health on site. The site has enhanced all cleaning and hygiene protocols.
The AIS is providing ongoing advice to athletes and sports and has also established an online resource at https://ais.gov.au/health-wellbeing/covid-19#covid-19_and_sport_faq
The Australian Sports Commission, including Sport Australia and the AIS, will continue to assess the situation. At this stage, it is envisaged the suspension of public activity on site will remain in place until at least April 27. A public notice will be issued when regular public activity can resume.